Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

Experienced Bicyclist v. Commercial Truck $1.25 Million Dollar Settlement

A bicyclist was riding home from a successful job interview when he was struck by a commercial 18-wheeler truck on Route 17 in Paramus, New Jersey. The bicyclist retained Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Garry R. Salomon to represent him. The case was settled and the truck company paid $1.25 million dollars to the bicyclist.

The Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. client, a Hackensack, New Jersey native, was an experienced bicycle rider. His bicycle—an old-fashioned style Schwinn Bicycle that he owned for 5 years prior to the accident—was his primary source of transportation. He was traveling at a leisurely speed, enjoying his bicycle ride home when he was struck by a box truck.

The client was riding his bicycle southbound through parking lots parallel to Route 17 South Bound lanes headed toward the exit for West Century Road in Paramus. As the bicyclist rounded a building and began riding toward the exit, the commercial truck driver made a slight right turn as he attempted to enter the same parking lot. The two collided at the entrance.

sketch of how the bicycle accient accuredAt the point of impact, the bicyclist was pedaling and traveling at about 2-mph while the truck was traveling about 10-mph and failed to stop. Although the bicyclist attempted to brake at the sight of the truck, the front right corner of the truck struck him and knocked him to the ground. The truck then ran over both his bicycle and leg. After the initial impact, the truck driver adjusted the wheel, moved it off the bicyclist, and stopped again.

The Paramus Police Department and other emergency personnel responded to the accident. Medical personnel rushed the injured bicyclist to the Hackensack University Medical Center, now Hackensack Meridian, where he was admitted and received in-patient hospital care. The accident left him with tibia and fibular open fractures as well as open complex wounds on his left leg. Upon arrival at the hospital, the bicyclist underwent an immediate incision, debridement, external fixator placement, and a Vacuum-Assisted Closure device placement. His stay in the hospital consisted of numerous procedures including multiple debridement procedures on the left leg, emergency closure of the complex laceration, fasciotomy of the left leg compartments, and 2 blood transfusions. Following his inpatient care, the bicyclist also underwent 6 months of physical therapy.

In the Paramus Police Department police report, the truck driver claimed that prior to the accident he had seen the bicyclist, but a utility pole blocked his view of the pedestrian as he entered the driveway. But, during the defendant’s trial deposition, Davis, Saperstein & Salmon, P.C. partner Garry R. Salomon—a member of the firm’s truck accident practice group—questioned the truck driver, forcing him to retract his statement. He testified that he never saw the bicyclist nor the bicycle before the collision. Partner Garry R. Salomon also hired an accident reconstructionist expert who recreated the scene of the accident and concluded that both the bicyclist and the bicycle should have been visible if the truck driver was paying sufficient attention, as outlined in New Jersey Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training.

The full identities of the parties to this truck accident settlement are subject to a confidentiality agreement.

Medical Term Glossary

Open fracture: compound fracture; a fracture where there is an open wound or break in the skin near the site of the broken bone

Fasciotomy: the surgical incision of a sheet of connective tissue to bind together bone structures

Tibia: the inner and typically larger of the two bones between the knee and ankle

Fibula: the outer and usually smaller of the two bones between the knee and ankle

Laceration: a deep cut in the skin